Belgium is mooting an unprecedented law that would allow the voluntary euthanasia of children.
Voluntary euthanasia is intentionally ending a life, with a patient’s consent. Different forms of this are legal for adults in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, although there are differences in the grounds on which it is allowed, for example if someone is terminally ill.
In Belgium, doctors can actively take part in someone’s death. But misconceptions about voluntary euthanasia make extending this to children a bad proposal. Here are four of them:
Euthanasia’s the only way to end suffering
This is untrue. Given modern palliative care (which is likely to be available in any European jurisdiction in which active euthanasia is proposed), there is simply no need for euthanasia. Pain and much-feared symptoms such as choking can all be controlled effectively.
Pro-euthanasists love stories about people going screaming…
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